With holiday season here, many of us will be packing our bags to visit our loved ones. If you are traveling by air, save yourself sometime and take a look at your airport security regulations before you decide what to bring on your trip.
Last week, a traveller was arrested after checking in a loaded rifle and three other illegal weapons. The arrest was made at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, after Port Authority discovered Keenan Draughon checked in two handguns, two defaced rifles and two unloaded high-capacity magazines through baggage claim. He was questioned by airport security and now is now facing charges of counts of criminal possession of a defaced rifle and two counts of criminal possession of large-capacity magazine.
Draughon did not have the proper licenses to carry these firearms. He also checked in fully loaded weapons that create an unsafe environment for him and fellow travelers. Illegally carrying firearms is a criminal offense and without the proper licenses, a person can face harsh penalties. Further, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) wants to remind all travelers that attempting to bring firearms onto a plane in carry-on luggage is a serious federal violation.
In Massachusetts, carrying weapons without a license can lead to a criminal offense and very high fines. A person who wishes to possess a small firearm must first obtain a Class B license. Accordingly, A Class B license allows the holder:
thereof to purchase, rent, lease, borrow, possess and carry: (i) non-large capacity firearms and feeding devices and ammunition therefor, for all lawful purposes, subject to such restrictions relative to the possession, use or carrying of such firearm as the licensing authority deems proper; provided, however, that a Class B license shall not entitle the holder thereof to carry or possess a loaded firearm in a concealed manner in any public way or place; and provided further, that a Class B license shall not entitle the holder thereof to possess a large capacity firearm…
In the state of Massachusetts, failure to obtain a license and carrying such weapons can lead to a fine of no less than $1000 and up to $10000 dollars.
Airline transportation of firearms varies by state and local restrictions. If you plan on bringing a firearm, you should first contact your travel agent or airline to see if firearms are permitted in checked baggage. Also, you may want to ask about any limitations and fees that may apply to carrying the firearm. If you unknowingly decide to carry a firearm that does not meet the guidelines of airport security, you will still face criminal charges.
Make traveling less of a hassle this holiday season. Check airport security requirements before you travel to avoid delays at the airport. Also, be sure to consider the rules and regulations of the airport you are traveling back from when you are booking your tickets.